Last year, for my first Father’s Day as a father, I instituted a tradition with my daughter: go to a baseball game. Rorie was only a few weeks old and still in the NICU, so I went without her. I’ve been looking forward to Father’s Day all year so we could go together. This was Rorie’s first trip to a ballgame, and she really seemed to enjoy herself.
The Greensboro Grasshoppers were playing the West Virginia Power, and due to an excessively long after-church nap (don’t wake a sleeping baby, even for baseball!), we didn’t make it out to the park until the seventh inning. That actually worked great — all the activity at the ballpark is a lot for a one-year-old to take in, and I don’t think Rorie’s up for a full game yet. A couple of innings was just about the right length for her.
When we got to the park, the Hoppers were up 7-5, which turned out to be the final score. Check out the official box and recap for all the details. There weren’t any remarkable plays in the last few innings and it was just nice to watch the Hoppers wrap up a win to finish things out before the All-Star break. Bill Hass has a great write-up of the game, including thoughts about how the Hoppers finished overall for the first half of the season. Things seem to be turning around a little, so there’s hope that the team can buckle down and secure a playoff spot in the second half of the season.
All in all, it was a great day to be at the ballpark. It was fun watching our boys secure a win. I loved catching up with a handful of my ballpark friends. But the highlight of of the trip for me was definitely after the game, when they have “Kids Run The Bases.” Rorie and I went out and ran them. She laughed and giggled the whole time. With the breeze flowing through her hair, she thought she was flying. When we got to the end, I made sure her feet hit home plate.
I’m already looking forward to the next opportunity I have to take my daughter to the ballgame!
Delmarva Shorebirds were in town today for the last day game of the season. It was also Money off monday which meant one dollar beer, sodas, and hot dogs. We talk about all the time about the Grasshoppers being “the HEART ATTACK HOPPERS”. Well today’s rally proved that. They were down but definitely not out. Greensboro would strike first in the third inning on Wilfredo’s second homer of the season. Austin Barnes would later cross the plate for the Hoppers in that inning. And just when everyone started getting comfortable, Kevin Cravey would allow four runs to come in. Which made the score 4-2 in the bottom of the 5th inning with the shorebirds on top. After a pitching change for the Hoppers, the Shorebirds would stay scoreless the rest of the game.
IT’S RALLY TIME!!! Eriq and Josh sporting their Rally Caps
And just like many times before this season, It was RALLY TIME! We love the Rally dance at the ballpark. And today was nothing short of that. In the Seventh inning Aaron Senne would rob Mike Planeta of a home run. In the bottom of the seventh, Brent Keys would single sending Matt Smith home to make the score 4-3. The very next batter, Ryan Goetz, would send a sacrifice fly out sending Ryan McIntyre across the plate tying the game 4-4. And on to extras we go… Greensboro is at bat in the bottom of the 11th, Ryan McIntyre flies out to left fielder Mike Planeta. ONE OUT. Wilfredo Gimenez singles on a ground ball to left fielder Mike Planeta. Brent Keys would single on a line drive to center fielder Roderick Bernadina. Wilfredo Gimenez would advance to 2nd. Ryan Goetz singles on a ground ball to right fielder Brenden Webb. Wilfredo Gimenez to 3rd. Brent Keys to 2nd. BASES LOADED. ONE OUT. Austin Barnes strikes out swinging. TWO OUTS, BASES STILL LOADED. Aaron Senne “SENNE IN THE CITY” singles on a ground ball to center fielder Roderick Bernadina. Wilfredo Gimenez scores. HOPPERS WIN! HOPPERS WIN! HOPPERS WIN! The final score was 5-4 in 11 innings.
The Hoppers Shot down the Birds tonight to advance to 21-24 in the second half and 4 games behind the first place West Virginia Power. The Hoppers can be seen next in ROME, GA against the Rome Braves. First Pitch is at 7pm Wednesday night. Be sure to tune in to Greensborosports.com for all game audio and video of all home games. Greensborosports.com is the place to go for all your grasshopper and greensboro sports needs.
This was the scene outside the gates tonight. To those of you that know about this, I would like to know your thoughts, please comment below. To those that do not know, the Babe statue was stolen last July. For the full article, found at greensborosports.com click here. Tonight, the man that stole the statue was court ordered to stand outside the ballpark with a sign publicly apologizing for stealing the beloved mascot and statue. To some, it proved its point. To others, it was a joke. Comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Besides the media spectacle that was outside the gates, there was also a ballgame. A ballgame that would consist of a home run smash by James Wooster, lots of pitching errors (their’s and ours), and a huge rally in the eighth to eventually win the game for the Grasshoppers. The Hoppers would be down 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning. To those that have been paying attention during this series, it seemed like the same story, different night. However, the Hoppers had another ending in mind for tonight. In a fairytale movie like fashion, In the bottom of the eighth, Wilfredo would single out to right field. Ryan McIntyre would then be walked, advancing Wilfredo to second. Then, Ryan Reiger would single to load the bases! Matt Smith would be intentionally walked, forcing a run to score! STILL NO OUTS, Brent Keys would get a strikeout. Austin Barnes would send a sacrifice fly out to the outfield, as Ryan McIntyre scores. For those not keeping track, the score was now 6-4. Only need two runs to tie. Those two runs would come in next as John Shultz would send a double out to right field bringing in the tying two runs. The man of the night was none other than JOSH ADAMS! Josh Adams would step up to the plate, with two strikes and two outs, he would double again bringing John Shultz home. For a rally finish of 9-6. Hoppers prevent the series sweep as they pull the cord on the West Virginia Power.
Starting on the mound tonight was Charlie Lowell. He threw 5 innings, allowed 7 hits, 5 runs, and 1 home run. With no strikeouts. Brad Mincey would come in and relieve him throwing 2 innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 run. He would sit down as Kevin Cravey would come to the plate to close the night. Kevin would throw the final 2 innings, allowing no hits and the lonely strikeout of the night.
With the Hoppers victory tonight, they improve to 15-19. The Hoppers are also 5 games behind first place. Be sure to click for the full recap and box score. Also, don’t forget to comment below about the man that stole the Babe statue. Was it a good idea or bad idea? What are your thoughts? All picture taken from tonight can be found here on the HoppersFan page on Facebook!
And as always, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
As you might can tell from the title, tonight was Christmas in July at the ballpark. The game was a little lacking tonight, but the between inning games, the sledding on Natty’s Hill, and the nine innings of great gifts given away every inning sure made the night a fun one!
Tonight was a very rainy and dreary night for baseball. It was spitting drizzling rain all afternoon and into the evening. In the past, statistics would show that the Hoppers generally do good and come away with a win on days that it rains, or has rained that day. Tonight, the West Virginia Power just couldn’t let the Hoppers flip their circuit.
Right out the gate tonight, West Virginia comes surging out to put two men on base, first and second. Then Gregory Polanco shocked a three run homer to give the Power the early 3-0 lead. That homer would barely roll over the fence for Polanco. That would be his 13th home run of the season for the Power. Josh Adams would then answer in the bottom of the second with a homer of his own. Which by the way, I now possess!!! I’ll be getting him to sign his home run ball later in the week. Josh is one of my favorite players so to get his home run ball is rather exciting! This was Josh Adams 13th home run of the season as well. This would be one of the Hoppers only three hits of the night. With the Power surging tonight, Greensboro had their hands full!
Starting pitcher on the night was Josh Hodges. He threw 7 innings, allowed 8 hits and 4 strikeouts. He would be relieved by James Nygren who would sling the final two innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 strikeout. Click for a Full Recap and Box Score of tonights game. West Virginia pitchers would have a combined 7 strikeouts and would only allow 3 hits on the night. The Hoppers put forth a valiant effort, but West Virginia would cut the power to Greensboro winning by a score of 5-1. This would drop the Hoppers to 60-41 on the year and 14-17 in the second half.
I dodged the rain quite a bit tonight but I did manage to take advantage of Money Off Monday, purchasing dollar sodas and dollar hot dogs! The Hoppers do a great job with the promotional nights and between inning games. Tonight the crowd was a little thin, but to those of us that waited out the rain, it was worth it. Because win or lose, THERE IS NO QUIT in our boys. That is what makes me proud to be a Hopper, and that’s also why IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Tonight was a fun night at the ballpark. Shanna, my wife, joined me tonight. For those of you that don’t know me personally, I get two season tickets every year and I am usually the only one using the tickets. Shanna mainly works at night and quite frankly doesn’t care for baseball. We decided to make tonight a date night of sorts. Needless to say, we met up with some friends up there and sat in the SUNBRELLA zone, out in the outfield for most of the game. It provides a different view on the game. I’m used to being up close in personal where all the action is. My seats are front row, on the first base line, beside the away dugout. So sitting in outfield provides a much better take on the game.
One thing I love as a photographer, is taking pictures of the stadium during different times of the day. The sunsets over the stadium are just awesome! Tonights was no different.
As I stated in the title and as I’ve stated many times this season already, the Hoppers are on fire! And I don’t see them cooling off anytime soon! With Adam Conley and Jose Fernandez pitching like they are, and Adams, Barnes, Wooster, and Keys hitting the way they are we are definitely on the right track to secure the first half. That sure would be nice. Jose Fernandez started off the night by throwing 6 strikeouts in the first two innings and had a total strikeout count of 8. Things were definitely heating up on the mound tonight. James Wooster had an incredible diving catch late in the 7th inning and stepped right up and slammed a home run off the score board. Hoppers win again by a score of 3-2 against the West Virginia Power! The win tonight improves the Hoppers to 20-8 and of those 28 games the crowd in Greensboro has only seen two of those losses! Talk about home town support! Their last loss at home came back on April 11 against the Lakewood Blueclaws! And that is why, my friends, I continue to echo the sentiment heard around the ballpark, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Remember, you can click on the picture in the post to embiggen it. Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?
I hope everyone enjoyed the most recent Hoppers homestand. And I hope the team enjoyed their day off yesterday. Starting today, the boys will be playing a seven-game stretch away, four against the Hickory Crawdads and three against the West Virginia Power. Currently, the Hoppers are tied with Hickory for first place, so it will be great if we can take that series. It’s too early in the season for that to mean anything, but it’s nice to see the team on top. After the thrill-ride that was last season, I’m really hoping that the team just goes ahead and secures a playoff spot by virtue of winning the first half of the season.
Stick around for any other thoughts Jordan and I might have while the Hoppers are away. And if you’re not already reading the Bill On Baseball blog, you need to add that to your reading list. Bill’s always got great insight on the team, including quotes from the players and coaching staff. While I’m giving shout-outs to other members of the “Hoppers Family,” I want to tip my hat to Andy Durham and the folks at WPET 950 AM. When I’m not able to make it to the park, I try to listen to the game on the radio or online. There’s nothing like being in the park, but listening to Andy describe the action is a good substitute. Far and away, the best way to keep up with the broadcasts online — both for home games and away games — is via the Grasshoppers Broadcast page on GreensboroSports.com. They have live streaming video for home games and links to all the other teams online broadcasts for away games. Big thanks to Don Moore for keeping that site going strong.
Let’s hope the Hoppers can keep the momentum going on the road and come back to Greensboro for an exciting series at home starting next week. Ironically, the next homestand will be somewhat of a repeat of their away games — three against Hickory and four against West Virginia. Hopefully, I’ll even be able to make it out to the park for a game or two.